Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Hellbender Head Start: Raising Giant Salamanders in the Bronx

Hellbender Head Start: Raising Giant Salamanders in the Bronx





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/28/hellbender-salamanders-bronx/

Friday, 23 August 2013

Coastal change 'risk' to wildlife

Coastal species such as puffins and little terns could be "seriously affected" by climate change, the National Trust says.

via BBC News - Science & Environment http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23803520#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa Label: Climate Change

Thursday, 22 August 2013

World’s Largest Owl Needs Equally Large Trees and Forests (But It’s More Complex Than That)

World’s Largest Owl Needs Equally Large Trees and Forests (But It’s More Complex Than That)





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/22/worlds-largest-owl/

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Monday, 19 August 2013

Scots red deer 'breeding earlier'

Scientists studying the impact of climate change on Scotland's red deer say the breeding season for the species is getting earlier.

via BBC News - Science & Environment http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23726965#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa Label: Climate Change

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sea Snake

Reposting of an old blog post:

Back to the renewable energy theme, this time with the Pelamis Sea Snake.  The amount of electricity generated by this technology will be variable to a certain extent depending on the swell of the sea but it is likely to be more constant than wind energy and (hopefully) its variability will beat to a different rhythm.

The first film shows how the wave motion is converted to electricity and the second shows the first fully commercial implementation of this device at Agu├žadoura n Portugal.





Thursday, 15 August 2013

Rare Monkey Population up 50 Percent in China and Tibet

Rare Monkey Population up 50 Percent in China and Tibet





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/15/rare-monkey-china-tibet/

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Giant Tortoises and Baobab Trees: Imperfect Apart

Giant Tortoises and Baobab Trees: Imperfect Apart





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/13/giant-tortoises-baobab-trees/

Friday, 9 August 2013

'Golden rice' GM trial vandalised

'Golden rice' GM trial vandalised

Protestors have destroyed a trial plot of genetically modified rice in the Philippines just weeks before a safety evaluation.



via BBC News - Science & Environment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23632042#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Scaly Anteaters Endangered by Illegal Trade

Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Scaly Anteaters Endangered by Illegal Trade





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/07/pangolins-peril-illegal-trade/

Virunga - Draw the Line

Since news of Soco's intention to drill in the Virunga National Parkin the Congo broke on the 1st of August, the big hitters have stepped up to the mark in the form of a WWF campaign to prevent oil exploration going ahead.

Some may argue that the revenue earned from oil exploitation will help develop local communities.  Given the political situation in the country, local communities are likely to be treated as poorly as those in the Niger Delta by the large oil companies. As centrepiece of the campaign, WWF have published a report which shows the value of the reserve ($350 million/year) based on eco-tourism and other sustainable developments without the need to extract oil.

Please support this campaign by signing the WWF Draw the Line petition here.  At least 94,348 people have signed it already, will you be 100,000?

http://www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/virunga/


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

GM rice approval 'edging closer'

GM Rice Approval 'edging closer'

Scientists in the Philippines are weeks from submitting a genetically modified variety of rice to the authorities for biosafety evaluations.

This is an ethical minefield.  The rice in question is Golden Rice which has enhanced Vitamin A. Will this genetically modified rice really address the problems of malnutrition? If there is a chance it will reduce malnutrition, what right do we over-nourished Westerners have to stop it, despite the risks to the environment?

There are obviously other, better ways of tackling malnutrition while so many developed countries waste tremendous quantities of food. Ways which cover a broad spectrum of nutrients rather than focusing on only one vitamin.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23581877

Related Posts:
Aphid Resistant GM Wheat
The Time is Right for GM Crops
Can Organic Agriculture Feed the World?

Film Fakery: Does Shark Week Harm Conservation Efforts?

Film Fakery: Does Shark Week Harm Conservation Efforts?





via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/05/film-fakery-shark-week/

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Grey Long Eared Bat

This isn't such a good news story.

The Grey Long Eared Bat is listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List but it is not faring well in the UK.

Results of research and a conservation management plan recently published by Dr Orly Razgour of Bristol University show that there may be as few as 1000 of them left in the UK. While bat roosts are highly protected, their foraging grounds are not.  Changes to agricultural practices in over the past half century have had the biggest effect on the abundance and accessibility of food. Changes to planning rules which allow developers to build on valuable habitat as long as they create habitat elsewhere could also harm the species as both the foraging and roosting sites must be close.


Image from the Bat Conservation Trust (http://www.bats.org.uk)


Friday, 2 August 2013

Once Extinct in the Wild, Galapagos Giant Tortoises Return to Pinzon Island

Another good news story. After a programme to eradicate invasive rats which brought the tortoises to the verge of extinction, the species has been successfully reintroduced:

Once Extinct in the Wild, Galapagos Giant Tortoises Return to Pinzon Island

via Scientific American Blog: Extinction Countdown 


http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/08/02/extinct-galapagos-tortoises-return/

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Leaping Bengal Tiger Numbers

A good news story as the number of wild royal Bengal tigers in Nepal has increased to 198, a 63.6 per cent rise in five years. The only down side is the increased number of villagers killed by Tigers.

Royal Bengal tiger numbers in Nepal leap to 198 via The Independent

Oil Threat to Virunga National Park

Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the last refuges of the mighty Mountain Gorilla. Decades of civil war and armed resistance had taken its toll on gorilla numbers but the latest threat is resource exploitation, oil in particular.


The forest in the Congo basin is second only to the Amazon and is one of the planet's lungs.  It must be protected at all costs. But the DRC is a desperately poor country and its fragile government does not have control over many parts of the country.  We must therefore provide viable and sustainable alternatives to widespread resource exploitation.